Inside the Affiliate, Literally

Today, we want to take you inside our affiliate—literally. We recently added another 5,000 square-feet to CrossFit South Brooklyn (CFSBK) across the street and wanted to find ways to leverage the expansion online. As you may have noticed in Google Maps, you can take a virtual tour of many businesses (it's called Google Street View). I loved the idea of this, and contacted a photographer through Google, who created a virtual tour of our three spaces. You can see them below.

One of great things about CrossFit is that because we're not a franchise model, we have the ability to create our own unique cultures—and our facilities are a big part of that culture. As CrossFit continues to spread, one of the ways we can differentiate ourselves from other affiliates is by showing off our facilities online (ideally you'll be showing that space off on your website). Your online presence can help sway prospective members when they're making the pivotal choice to come check you out instead of the other gym that might be closer to where they live or work. Personally, I know that whenever I'm looking at other gyms' blogs, I always check to see what their facilities look like, which often creates a powerful impression of what they're all about.

It's important to remember that you definitely do not have to have the biggest or best facility out there, but you do need to take care of what you've got. Organize it well, and obviously, keep your bathrooms clean. Be proud of and confident about your space. It makes a huge difference.

Here is our original space, which we call 597 (since the address is 597 Degraw Street):

This is our recent expansion (which has our showers in it!), which we call 608:

This was the second space we expanded into, above 597. We call it "the Annex," and we use it for our CrossFit Kids programming, personal training, and Pilates and yoga classes:

Check out these other gyms that we spotlighted to see their facilities!


CrossFit Preschool: 5 Things I’ve Learned From Working with 5-Year-Olds

By David Osorio, with Janelle Barth

In February of this year, we launched CrossFit Kids (6-8) and CrossFit Preschool (3-5) at CrossFit South Brooklyn (CFSBK). Though I had wanted to launch this program for a while, it took a backseat until our Front Desk manager Janelle—who has a lot of professional experience working with kids and is pursuing her masters in education—expressed interest in getting it started. I'd only dabbled in coaching kids during an internship after college and since I’m the youngest in my family, I didn’t have much experience working with these age groups. Even despite Janelle’s expertise, I was a little nervous—but up for the challenge and excited to expand my coaching horizons.

I’m not the only one who felt this way. At the CrossFit Kids seminar that Janelle and I took, we talked to a number of people with varying ranges of experience that all said they were nervous about running these classes. In today's article, I want to share a few things that we’ve learned since launching our CrossFit Preschool program (more on our CrossFit Kids later), in the interest of letting people know what to expect.

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How to Properly Spot the Bench Press at CrossFit Gyms

I recently visited an affiliate while traveling and the instruction on bench pressing itself was excellent, but there was no mention of how or when to spot. Everyone in the class seemed to be doing something completely different. Some were a mile away from their partner having conversations with other gym-goers, some were hovering over their partners basically tea-bagging them, and one girl was "spotting" her partner by standing next to her. Yes, like next to her—on the wrong side of the bar.

Bench pressing is the barbell lift most of the general population has been exposed to—and more often than not, exposed to incorrectly. When spotting, it's important to teach your members how to do it correctly so that no one is put at undue risk. Partial reps and sloppy set-up positions aside, the worst habits you might see in any given gym are a spotter who either is too handsy—assisting the entire movement and thus invalidating the lift—or a spotter who isn’t engaged and would only have front-row tickets to an accident were one to occur.

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How to Prevent CrossFit Injuries: A Guide for Coaches and Athletes 

This article was originally published on Breaking Muscle

If you’ve ever experienced an injury, you know it can be emotionally devastating. You think the world is ending and you feel claustrophobic in a body that no longer performs in a way you’ve come to expect. As a CrossFit coach, your own injuries (or imagining your way into what such an experience feels like) should cultivate a disposition of empathy for your athletes—which should also lead to taking your responsibility as a coach even more seriously. 

Injury is an unfortunate reality inherent in all rigorous physical activity and no gym will ever be injury-free. But there are injuries I would consider preventable or easily avoided if coaches and affiliates adhere to some basic principles.

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Why Your CrossFit Gym Needs a Front Desk

In the early days, CrossFit South Brooklyn’s “Front Desk” was a broken and badly worn desk I found in the Brooklyn Lyceum, the facility where I was renting space by the hour. On that desk, I kept a pencil pouch with a Post-It note on it that said, “Please leave $20 for class.” There was also a composition notebook where people logged their names as they came in. The pencil pouch was our honor-based payment system, and the notebook was my clumsy attempt at tracking CFSBK’s membership.

This arrangement was the extent of our “Front Desk” for several years until we transitioned over to a software system called Mind Body Online. Then we moved to Volusion, and finally found Zen Planner. Even with the software, and for years after we moved into our current location, our initial point of contact with our membership remained that same pencil pouch full of $20 bills, and our composition notebook upgraded to a three-ring binder.

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